Sunday, August 31

Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan

This is a popular and most favorite dish for any hyderabadi. For any function, be it wedding or birthday parties or engagement parties, this dish will surely appear in the buffet. Small whole brinjals/eggplants are used for this dish and goes well with either biryani or chapathis.

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law and I tweaked it slightly.

12 small round brinjals
1/2 cup peanuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tsp ginger garlic paste (adjust as per your taste)
2-3 green chillies
1 small onion
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 small lime size tamarind
salt as per taste

1. Roast peanuts, sesame seeds and poppy seeds seperately. Take them into a blender and blend into a smooth paste.

2. Cut the brinjals into 4 parts with the stem intact. It should be like a cross mark. Fry them in some oil until they are slightly tender. While frying add some salt to brinjals so that they don't change their colour. Once they are tender take them aside.

3. In the same pan add some more oil and add cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the sliced onion and green chillies. Saute until onion turns transluscent and then add some turmeric powder and peanut paste. Add red chilli powder, salt and little water and cook covered until the gravy leaves oil.

4. Extract tamarind pulp and add to the gravy. Now add the fried brinjals and garam masala to the gravy and cook for another 10 minutes or until the gravy thickens and brinjals are well done.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with either biryani or chapathis.

Sending this to Mona who is hosting RCI-Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine.

Tuesday, August 26

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am so happy and thrilled today. Reason??, well I successfully baked a set of cookies. I am so fond of baking, but the challenge I always have is to bake eggless stuff. Be it cookies, cakes, muffins anything. I do eat eggs but indirectly. I cannot stand the smell of it in the freshly baked goods. So, when I make anything at home, I do it eggless way. I baked my ever favorite chocolate chip cookies today and succeeded. They were so moist and soft inside and slightly crispy outside. The best part is my daughter too liked them. She is not a big fan of sweet stuff but she kept asking me "mummy cookie". That gives lot of satisfaction after hard work.

Here is the recipe that I followed:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs ( I used 2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp warm water )
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup All purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with wire rack in center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I had only a piece of it which I used the rest I just placed them directly on the baking sheet. Those had a crispy bottom, because of the butter they will not stick to the baking sheet. So if you do not have parchment paper do not worry and place them directly on the baking sheet.

I do not have an electric mixer so I used food processor for this process. Bring butter to room temperature and place it in the food processor bowl. Cream it. Add both sugars and run the processor until fluffy. In a blender, take the ground flaxseed and water and beat it until frothy. Add that to the butter mixture and run the processor until well blended. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In another bowl take flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry to the wet ingredients and run the processor until the mixture forms into a ball. Take it into a bowl, add chocolate chips and pecans. If you find the dough to be too soft, cover and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes or until it forms a firm dough. I did not find it too soft so I just proceeded and dropped about 2 tbsp dough balls on the baking sheet. Bake it for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown.

Hot hot chocolate chip cookies are ready to be served. You will not believe that these are eggless unless if you are used to the smell of eggs in baked products. My daughter eats raw dough, calling it as "pind"(In telugu dough is called pindi). I don't have to hesitate giving her the raw dough, as it does not have raw eggs in it.

I am sending these goodies to my own event called Sunday Snacks - the theme being Bake it.

Saturday, August 23

Palak Paneer

As I said earlier in one of posts, Palak Paneer is one of my favorite paneer dish. But I like the that it is served in restaurants at Hyderabad, not the Saag paneer that we get here in USA. It is too bland or rather sweet to my taste buds. So, I had to make it at home according to my requirements to satisfy my taste buds. Here is the recipe that I came up with:

200 grms paneer ( I used fried paneer)
1 big bunch Spinach (blanch in plenty of water, drain and make a puree of it)
1 small onion finely minced
1 medium tomato (blanch a bit, remove skin and make a puree of it)
1 big serrano pepper or 2-3 green chillies
1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp kasuri methi
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp oil
1/3 cup evaporated milk
salt as per taste

Slightly fry paneer and put them in hot water so that they will remain soft.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they splutter add onion and green chillies. Saute until the onion turns golden brown colour. Now add ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add tomato puree, red chilli powder and cook until the oil leaves the gravy. Add spinach puree, crushed kasuri methi, salt and cook covered until the whole gravy leaves oil and everything is well blended. Add paneer, garam masala and evaporated milk and turn off the heat. Let it be on the stove until the stove cools off.

Enjoy palak paneer with any indian bread. It tastes great when you squeeze a lime and serve with a slice of onion. I served them with plain phulkas.

This is off to EC of Simple Indian Food for her WYF-Colour in Food event.

Thursday, August 21

Announcing new event - Sunday Snacks

At my place, saturdays are busiest days and sundays are slightly relaxed days. Saturday we go out for chores, movies, meet friends etc., where as on sunday we stay back at home, making preparations for the coming week. And in the evenings we sit in front of TV with any snack. So, I am here by calling all the foodies to contribute for that lazy sunday snacks. Every month I will pick an ingredient or theme based on which we will come up with only snacks and nothing else. Keep in mind, desserts like, cakes, cup cakes, muffins, cookies, and sweets like, jilebi, jaangri, burfi etc., are also considered as snacks in my books. Rice items, like pulihora, pulav etc., are slightly heavy but acceptable. So hope you will all be ready to contribute for this event.

The last date for your entries will be every last sunday of that month and by following sunday I will post the round up. Like with my previous event Whats Your Favorite (currently being hosted by EC) you do not have to send me the pictures. If necessary I will collect them from your blog. I just need the following information:

Your Name
Recipe Name
Recipe URL

It is that simple, so hope to see you all with lovely entries by next September last Sunday. Send in your entries to

The theme for the month is Bake it. Please feel free to use the below logo and spread the word.

Images courtesy: Google Search

You can send any number of entries, there is no limit.

Note: The posts from this blog are not getting updated on TOI. To stay updated please subscribe here by clicking the subscribe links provided on the top left corner.

Saturday, August 16

Sun-dried Tomato,Almond and Cilantro pesto

After a long time of gap I made italian food at home. My husband is a great fan of Italian food, where as I was initially reluctant towards it as it is too bland for my taste buds. But gradually I got used to the taste and now I love to have it every once in a while. I just made a simple pesto, to go along with angel hair pasta. My daughter who is two year old also loves to eat pasta and pizzas. I was so satisfied when she loved to have it over and over again.

Here is the recipe:

3 big fist full of Angel hair pasta cooked in lots of salt water

For pesto:
1/2 cup Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1/3 cup Grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Almonds toasted slightly
1/2 cup Cilantro
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 tsp Red chilli flakes
2 tbsp EVOO
Salt as per taste

Take all the pesto ingredients into a blender and blend into a coarse paste. Drain pasta reserving some water to add to pesto as needed. Add pesto to the pasta and mix nicely until everything is well blended. If it is too dry, add the pasta cooked water to get to the right consistency. Thats it pasta with delicious pesto is ready.

This is off to DK of Culinary Bazaar for her AWED with the theme being Italian Food.

Wednesday, August 13

Channa Masala

Thanks to all my food blog buddies who took time to visit my blog and wished me and my little one. That is so touching. We named him Venkata Harsha. So now I have a girl and a boy. The picture is complete.

Coming to recipe, while I was in hyderabad, whenever I go out to eat, I use to order Palak paneer and paneer butter masala. Thats it, never tried any other dishes at all. After coming to US I could never order saag paneer as it is too sweet and bland for my taste level. So I had an empty slot to fill with various other recipes to try. Of those Channa masala has become one of our favorites to me and my husband. I decided to make it at home to host a party on last sunday and guess what it was a grand success. So, I am here by sharing the recipe that I made with success:

Channa Masala:

1 can chickpeas
1 tea bag
1 medium onion
2 medium tomatoes
1 big serrano pepper or 2-3 green chillies
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
couple of bay leaves
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
salt as per taste
chopped cilantro to garnish
1 lime
2 tbsp oil

1. Drain the chickpeas from the can, wash under running water thoroughly and take into a bowl. Fill with water to cover the chickpeas, drop a tea bag and cook until the chickpeas absorb a nice colour from the tea. Make sure they do not get too mushy. They should be soft and still hold their shape.

2. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and add chopped onion, green chillies. Cook until onion turns into golden brown colour.

3. Add ginger garlic paste and cook until raw smell is gone. To this add coriander powder, turmeric powder and cook for a minute and then add chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook until tomatoes are completely cooked. Take this entire mixture into a blender and blend into a fine paste. I used food processor for this procedure.

4. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan add cumin seeds and bay leaves. When the cumin seeds start spluttering add the above mixture. Add salt and red chilli powder and cook until the gravy leaves oil.

5. Now add the cooked channa to the gravy and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes to blend all the flavors together.

6. Before turning off the heat sprinkle garam masala and mix it well. Garnish with chopped cilantro and squeeze a lime if you want sour taste to the dish.

Voila channa masala is ready to be served with hot hot bhaturas. I will post my bhatura recipe very soon. Hope you will enjoy this as much as we all enjoyed it.

Off this goes to Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons for her Curry Mela event.

Oh btw! I have also been showered with Brilliant Web Blog award by EC of Simple Indian Food and Trupti of Recipe Center.

I pass this on to all my food blog buddies who take time to visit my site and encourage me to cook more delicious varieties of dishes.

Monday, August 11

Good news and a recipe (Onion rings)

I have been on break once again. Well, you must be thinking that this has become a routine for me to go on break every now and then. Actually, the good news is that we are blessed with a baby boy on July 3rd and I am still in the process of recovering from the C-Section. Thats on the personal front and coming to recipe, it is always a challenge for me to provide a snack for my husband daily when he returns from office. I am always in hunt for something new. Until I came to USA, I only knew about ullipai pakodi (onion pakodi). Only after coming here I got introduced to this new variety with onion called Onion Rings. I was pretty impressed with taste and texture. When I researched for recipe I came to know that it has egg in the recipe and I once again had a challenge to replace it with something else. I successfully made eggless onion rings and here is the recipe:

For the batter:

1/3 cup Self rising flour (you may use all purpose flour)
2 tbsp corn meal (you may also use rice flour, I did not have any in hand, so I used corn meal)
a pinch of pepper powder
salt as per taste
red chilli powder as per taste

For the Coating:
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Big Onion ( I used yellow onion)
Oil to fry

1. To make the batter mix all the ingredients with just enough water to make a smooth paste. It should not be too thin or pouring consistency. When you dip onion rings in the batter it should be able to make slightly thick coating.

2. Mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, oregano and garlic powder together and keep it ready.

3. Slice onion into 1/4" rings.

4. Heat oil in a wide pan.

5. Dip each ring in the batter first, then into the bread crumbs mixture and fry them in the hot oil.

Thats it hot hot crispy onion rings are ready to be served. I served them with some tomato ketch up.

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